From Fiasco to Fanfare: What Netflix is Teaching Us About Digital Video

From social media to TV screens, digital video has come to dominate the entertainment industry. Now we’re watching as major platforms figure out which digital tactics will work best for them as we all navigate this new landscape. 

From focusing on original content to live streaming highly anticipated programming to diving into sports, streaming platforms are testing different strategies to bring in new viewers and retain existing ones. 

As you might have heard, Netflix is trying to focus on live stream programming—but the second time wasn’t the charm for the platform. 

Here, we’ll explore Netflix’s experience with live streaming so far and how digital video extends across platforms.

What Happened? 

If you haven’t seen or heard about the drama yet, let me fill you in. 

Netflix was set to air a live Love Is Blind reunion on the platform. Yep, live, as in you have to be there at a certain time to watch it. Talk about a throwback! As Stephen Graveman wrote in this MNTN piece, “…everything old is new again.” 

Except, when viewers got there, the content wasn’t quite ready. After being greeted with loading screens for more than 15 minutes, viewers realized this wasn’t going to be the experience they expected. 

Netflix began posting on social media to apologize for the delay. Then, later, they sent out another apology. Finally, they announced the programming wouldn’t be available until the following day. Still, around 6.5 million people watched the reunion after it aired. 

This wasn’t Netflix’s first shot at live entertainment. Back in March, it aired the stand-up special Chris Rock: Selective Outrage live, which seemed to go smoothly and created some dialogue around editing live programming on streaming platforms. 

Was It Really a Fiasco? 

For Netflix, it obviously wasn’t ideal—but it certainly wasn’t devastating, either. Why? 

Well, first of all, we’re still talking about it. And, even though people were upset about it, Netflix announced they were using it as a learning opportunity and even cracked some jokes about it. 

It also showed Netflix knows what people want to watch—it just needs a bit more practice getting it to them on time. 

Now, when searching for the reunion, many of the related articles have moved to chat about the contents of the show, rather than focusing on the technical errors. We’re talking about digital video, after all, which moves quickly

When it comes to digital content in general, this provided great insights into audience behavior. This was a huge win in terms of how many people were ready and willing to show up for live programming. Plus, it showed they’re willing to use those second-screen devices to join in and talk about the show with their community. 

Make the Most of Digital Video

While this situation wasn’t ideal, it provided a lot of insights for the entire digital video industry as a whole. With those in mind, let’s take a look at how you can make the most of digital video content: 

Diversify Your Channels 

Like we saw with this experience, one channel isn’t enough. 

Netflix itself took to social media to apologize for the delays, and the hosts of the show posted on Instagram to engage with fans while the programming was delayed. 

We also learned if viewers want a certain piece of content, they’re going to scour the internet in hopes of either finding it somewhere else or engaging with other people who are trying to watch it. 

If a brand was just airing ads on the streaming platform, they might have missed out on this conversation. But if they were on social media, too, the content would have been ready for the viewers who were searching for relevant content on other channels. By diversifying your marketing mix, you can be there, no matter where your audience heads off to next. 

You might be thinking: great, more video content to make. And, while you’re right, you can also take advantage of repurposed content to help you get a start on new channels. 

Take Advantage of Timely Content 

This was a great opportunity to take advantage of timely content, but it’s certainly not the only one. 

From holidays and seasons to cultural moments, your brand can jump into moments like this to be a part of a bigger conversation. For example, other streaming and entertainment brands took advantage of this opportunity and poked a bit of fun at Netflix and the experience viewers were having. 

One of the most notable was Blockbuster (a company who’s been pretty active online recently…what’s up with that?), who took to Twitter to join the conversation

But, it’s important to read the room and understand the reason behind your content before jumping in. Not every cultural moment should be utilized as content, and even the ones that are might not be right for your brand. 

Utilize Available Resources 

Creating more content takes time, and sometimes that’s not a possibility for in-house teams with already full schedules. Thankfully, there are endless platforms (and possibilities) for video creative—and many effective resources to help you create the content. 

For example, at QuickFrame, we connect you with leading creators and production teams from around the world to make the content you need to grow your business. Whether it’s your first CTV campaign to your 1000th social media campaign, we have video creators who are ready to help you create incredible content

Final Thoughts on Digital Video in 2023 

As brands and advertisers continue figuring out which digital video strategies are most effective, we can expect some hiccups along the way. 

But we can also anticipate more insights, like the ones we learned from this situation. As we move forward, we’ll be able to gather more information about audience behavior, content demand, and more to help continue optimizing the digital video experience for both viewers and advertisers. Onto the future! 

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